User talk:Lon-ami/First expansion theorycrafting: Jormag, Tengu and Far Shiverpeaks

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Karma[edit]

you're going to post this on reddit, aren't you.--Relyk ~ talk < 02:35, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

You couldn't have waited some minutes :P. In case you think it's wrong (most wikis leave personal space free for anything you want, except when you go off topic with way too much pages), I can make it into a picture or something. I prefer the wiki format for the easy links, etc.--Lon-ami (talk) 11:40, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
hmmmm? I don't care, I'm simply trolling the page--Relyk ~ talk < 19:01, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
You filthy karma whore! I hope you choke on it! Jug of Liquid Karma.pngx74 Psycho Robot (talk) 19:20, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
And if I didn't mention it, I link to the wiki when possible because you can format shit and get a table of contents and it's so much better.--Relyk ~ talk < 19:43, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
I guess it's fine then. Sorry about the karma ;P.--Lon-ami (talk) 23:59, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

Lengthy Response[edit]

Is this the right place for a lengthy section by section response/commentary, or is there somewhere better to put it / send it? Kinda got carried away with some analysis. Or, you know, I can shut my trap and keep it to myself if you'd prefer. Either works.

Completely new to any sort of wikis also, sorry if this is screwed up formatting or something. BoxOfSnails (talk) 01:27, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Hey! As you wish, there's a reddit thread, which it's kinda old by now, but you can use it if you don't feel comfortable with the wiki. I love constructive feedback so bring it on! If you stick with the wiki, put some :'s before the text to insert indentation, and then don't forget to add the signature with --~~~~ :).--Lon-ami (talk) 15:29, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, it's all added. Take from it what you will, ignore as you like. I've attempted to use the signature system to break things up into sensible chunks in case anything leads to discussion and in case anyone else wants to jump in. If do you like any of the ideas/suggestions, feel free to take or adapt them. I imagine you're already planning a lot of revisions after the latest developments anyway. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Overall Expansion Plans[edit]

While I've updated this section with what we know now from the latest Living Story update, the rest of this response was written before it released. I'm leaving the other sections mostly unedited as I haven't really had time to consider the new information. If you're intending to revise and adapt given the expansion announcement, consider maybe splitting it into two new theorycrafting pages, one themed around Heart of Thorns, one themed around an icy Jormag expansion - rather than just throwing out anything unrelated to Heart of Thorns or vice-versa.

My general (vague) personal view for a plan of expansions though would be each one taking on one of the elder dragons:

  • Expansion 1 : Heart of Thorns
    • (until the announcement I actually expected this one to be delivered as Living Story content)
    • This would focus on Mordremoth, the west and northern Maguuma areas, and Tengu. Jungle themed.
  • Expansion 2
    • Jormag and ice themed, basically the expansion we're discussing.
  • Expansion 5
    • Deep Sea Dragon and water themed, focusing on Cantha. Possibly with a revitalised Orr.
    • I'm not sure we'll ever get this far, but I would expect more contact with Cantha to develop at least in Lore terms even if we never get there.

BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

I think I won't touch this one. I'll probably keep it preserved, I find it fun how some things kind of made it into Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. The mastery system sounds a lot like Region Ranks, and profession specialization roles sound like the reasons I gave for the new weapon combination ideas in the reddit thread linked to this. Even the watcher is kinda similar to the Revenant, specially the part about the spirits. I don't know if I'll make a 4.0 version accounting for GW2:HoT changes, lot of the story ideas could be impossible to apply depending where the official story goes. Time will tell!
As for future expansions, my idea goes: Mordremoth, Jormag, Bubbles, Primordus, Kralkatorrik. And maybe some non-dragon expansions in-between.--Lon-ami (talk) 17:45, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

New Map Areas[edit]

Amount of New Zones[edit]

Honestly I was originally sceptical of the sheer amount of new zones listed, but given the amount of time passed since launch and the currently speculated price point, it does now seem like a reasonable amount of content to expect. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a little less though, it depends how much other content is added. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Sea of Sorrows[edit]

This is actually my "most likely to be added as part of the living story" area and race. As a result of thinking they would have already been introduced as part of the Living Story, later commentary from me treats the Dominion of Winds cluster of zones as unlikely to make an appearance in an expansion with Jormag. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Woodland Cascades & Charr Homelands[edit]

I'd love to see these areas, but they don't seem to be strongly connected thematically to fighting Jormag which, for me, would push them into the other expansions and/or the Living Story. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

They're next to Jormag's territory, and as I explain in the story, you can't just walk to the front gate. You need to surround Jormag's land from multiple sides. Also, I know they're unrelated to Jormag, but that's the point. An expansion solely focused on one threat and story is boring, side-stories are needed for variety.--Lon-ami (talk) 17:49, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Deldrimor Front[edit]

For a Jormag focused expansion I'd think it likely that we would see the areas to the south of the current snowy maps. On the existing world map the large, presumably snowy and mountainous Deldrimor Front is still unexplored. There seems to be lots of possibilities for this as an area, including a whole lot more dwarven lore / content plus the possibility of more Tengu. Either of which could prove useful against the dragons. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

It's not linked to Jormag in any way, though. Also, we already have enough snow zones for Jormag, no need to add more. Deldrimor Front would serve better as the entry zone to Depths of Tyria, in an expansion against Primordus.--Lon-ami (talk) 17:48, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

New Dungeons[edit]

Definitely expect new dungeons. I love some of these ideas. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Largos Coliseum[edit]

This is in the Sea of Sorrows area that I don't expect to see, but still raises a lot of questions - mostly with the lore involved. It isn't clear whether this is an underwater dungeon? If it is underwater this presents problems for the Tengu. If it's on land this seems unpleasant for the Largos and Krait. The races involved present problems in other ways also. The Krait are intensely xenophobic. The Tengu have very isolationist attitudes. The Largos are extremely secretive and haven't been seen to associate with other races (except when a debt is owed). It's hard to think of a group less likely to work together. This may be the point, but it's such a great stretch of the current lore it would take something extra-ordinary to see it happen... BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

The dungeon serves to introduce the tengu Sisterhood, and their plans with the rest of the Sinister Alliance. Those racial attitudes aren't inherent, they're the official stance of their major organizations. As the Toxic Alliance has shown, krait can ally if the need so. Of course it's extraordinary, but it's possible, and I think the reasons I gave are enough. Enemy of my enemy works pretty well in any situation.--Lon-ami (talk) 17:52, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Ruins of Surmia[edit]

I really like this concept! You no doubt already have something in mind, but I would love to see this as an open-air dungeon (perhaps similar to the Urban Battlegrounds Fractal) that transitions to more underground ruins or to the interior of some large, significant building. Alternatively, something akin in tone to the grand but crumbling ruins you fight through in the Gears of War series. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Modniir Bastion[edit]

While I think this more likely to appear in a different expansion, I also think this sounds like a fantastic idea for a dungeon. I'm surprised that we don't already have a dungeon where centaurs are the opponents. This could also potentially work as an open-world raid. Think Tower of Nightmares but instead it's a centaur fortress. An idea that may also work with the Ruins of Surmia dungeon above. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

I didn't include it in the expansion idea, but Jormag's Lair story mode would be both a dungeon and an open world raid zone, working as a collection of world bosses, and with options of closing it to a specific guild. The rest of the dungeons are just too small for really epic raids.--Lon-ami (talk) 17:54, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Flame Legion Stronghold[edit]

I like the idea for this dungeon and the focus on the Flame Legion after they lost their leadership. The plot set-up does seem a touch similar to the Twilight Arbor explorable mode. An idea to differentiate the set-up would be to perhaps have the Molten Alliance in a clear position of power and turn the dungeon into a Molten Alliance stronghold (the fortress could have a cool retro-fitted aesthetic, making an interesting mix of old and new Charr technology). The player goal would be to deal a blow to the Molten Alliance so that the Free Legion can gain more traction.

Lorewise, perhaps consider the Free Legion having a charismatic or powerful female leader. It's very easy to imagine the formation of the Free Legion if the leader in question is able to personally take on and kill any challengers. Add religious fervour to the proceedings and you might have some sort of "she's the chosen one of the gods" vibe going on.

BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

The Molten Alliance could have control of the city, but the real theme of this dungeon is defending a city against a siege. Instead of your classic "attack this place", you're the one attacked now. The Molten Alliance isn't done yet, they'll get their own underground dungeon later, maybe for the Primordus expansion.--Lon-ami (talk) 17:55, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Old Alliance Fortress[edit]

A little vague at the moment, so not too much to comment on. There may be too many villain groups listed for this one, and narrowing it down may give the dungeon more focus. White Mantle would be my pick. They've been using it, unnoticed, as a base of operations and building up their forces. Some Shining Blade were sent in response to the reports of White Mantle activity in the area, but vastly underestimated the situation and need rescue/re-enforcement. Something like that. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

The White Mantle are already present at the Modniir Bastion, though. As long as the different factions' forces are well organized, it would work just fine. If not, then just focus on the Aetherblades.--Lon-ami (talk) 17:56, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Jormag's Lair[edit]

Yes good! Something epic like Arah, but please with a better dragon fight at the end. I would like to fight more dragon champions without the aid of airships too, the Shadow of the Dragon has set a nice precedent when it showed up at the Grove. Or imagine Jormag itself harassing the party en-route for very intense encounters before being driven off (perhaps a larger battle is under-way, keeping Jormag mostly occupied). BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Toxic Dungeon[edit]

What have the Toxic Alliance been doing? They're clearly still active but do they have a secret lair somewhere? Have they managed to grow a new poisonous tree? Is there a new nightmare tower being constructed? It would be nice to see a dungeon set against this tough villain group (those hallucinations!) that also took the opportunity to extend the lore a little. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Unfortunately, they're too far from the north. They would fit the Mordremoth expansion better.--Lon-ami (talk) 17:57, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Steam Dungeon[edit]

There have been many hints the Scarlet's Steam creature creations were developing their own intelligence and surpassing her original designs. They've been left to roam freely for quite some time now, how far have they developed? Are the Steam Brains and Steam Commanders the most advanced or are there other leaders? We know they're active in Lornar's Pass and that they have their own portals, so it's not a stretch to imagine them also being present further north.

It seems like they could well be a notable presence on one of the new maps. With some open world content around them, but at the heart of the area potentially a large, heavily defended portal that leads to... Well what if, secretly, they've constructed a gigantic factory, accessed through that heavily guarded portal in the Shatterpeaks? One that is constructing more and more steam creatures and is even now constructing the largest and most dangerous steam creature yet...

BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't think they could go any further, not alone. Maybe in an Aetherblade dungeon (Old Alliance Fortress could work), together with both Aetherblades and Twisted Watchwork minions.--Lon-ami (talk) 17:59, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Personal Story[edit]

A new expansion should definitely be expected to come with a new personal story. It's likely to be entirely re-playable this time, chapter by chapter, using the journal system. With achievements available per chapter on replaying in a similar style to the newer Living Story episodes. Will pass commenting on the specific story details for now, as it could really go any which way and I doubt my lore knowledge is up to it. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Region Ranks[edit]

Getting into design and mechanics focus with this one, rather than lore, so it needs extra careful consideration. I definitely feel this is a needed system to prevent the expansion content feeling worthless to characters that are already level 80 and like your solution a lot. However, I would suggest some changes for better integration with existing systems as well as to streamline and prevent extra work on the part of the devs where it isn't needed. Let's get specific...

Regions are already defined for existing content: Ascalon, Kryta, Maguuma Jungle, Maguuma Wastes, Ruins of Orr, Shiverpeak Mountains. Expansion content would be grouped into new regions of similar size (possibly with some zones added to existing regions where appropriate).

  • Players have a Region Rank for each region. Ranks would be account wide. Which is a very important point. Ranks progress with experience at the same rate as levels are gained. Ranks range from 2-80. This means if you level entirely within Ascalon all the way to 80, your rank for Ascalon will hit 80 at the same moment. But, while in other regions, your Region Rank may be different despite your Character Level remaining at 80. If you log onto any other characters and go to Ascalon, your Region Rank there will still be 80.
  • Integration of the existing Dynamic Level Adjustment system. This is very simple! Wherever you go, currently in-game, your downscaled level is capped to the maximum level for the area you are in. With the addition of region ranks your downscaled level is also capped by the appropriate region rank for the area you are in. Your level will be capped to whichever of the two is lowest.
  • The base Region Rank for any particular region is set to the lowest level for a map of that region. This is to ensure players are not downscaled to level 2 when arriving at Dry Top or the Straits of Devastation, for example. For Ruins of Orr this is 70. For Maguuma Wastes this is 80. For Shatterpeaks as proposed, this would be 25. Finally, Woodland Cascades and Blood Legion Homelands as proposed both begin at rank 35.

An example: You are new to the game and make your first character, an Asura. You level to 35 in Metrica Province, thus also raising your Maguuma Jungle region rank to 35. You then decide to skip over to Ascalon and mess around in Diessa Plateau. When you arrive in Diessa Plateau you are downscaled to level 2. Just like a fresh recruit, you're going to have to actually play the content to get more powerful here. This is because, having never been to Ascalon before on this account, your Region Rank for this region has not advanced past the starting value. Follow-up example: You make a second Asura and go to Metrica Province. You are level 2, despite having a Maguuma Jungle region rank of 35. This is because the Dynamic Level Adjustment does not upscale players, only downscale.

Already, even with existing content alone, this system puts a lot more emphasis on getting the full potential out of the world map. If a player levels up entirely in Edge of the Mists or with Tomes of Knowledge they are not going to be able to jump straight into Frostgorge Sound or fighting Tequatl. It also means that in the expansion they would not be able to go directly to fight Jormag, players need to actually play the new content.

Since this system is account wide there is also no repetition. While players need to play Ascalon to improve their Ascalon Region Rank, this needs only be done once. The same goes for every other region, allowing players to power-level later characters and alts as they do currently. Existing accounts would be grandfathered in when the expansion launches such that all non-expansion region ranks are set to the level of the highest level character on that account - meaning existing players do not have to replay content they are already familiar with.

The Region Rank system fits well alongside the existing PvP Rank and World Experience systems.

BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Pretty much what I already suggested :D.--Lon-ami (talk) 18:00, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

New Playable Races[edit]

I think it's likely that to avoid timeline confusion the personal stories of races introduced in an expansion transition into the new storyline for that expansion rather than directly into the storyline of the base game. The introduction of a new race would be easiest if it were canonically to occur after the death of Zhaitan, this avoids conflicts with the existing personal story and the lore that can be currently experienced in-game.

Suppose Sylvari were added only when Mordremoth started to rise, but could then take part in the storyline that leads to the death of Zhaitan, it would seem strange to see all races pulling together to fight the dragon but with Sylvari mysteriously absent from the Pact as they were not were not in-game when the story was first created. To go back and add them in to the storyline would be a lot of work - work that would need repeating for any future races as well.

A consequence of leading directly into the expansion storyline is that some players, those playing new races, would not have earned the title of Pact Commander. It is possible that storylines for expansions may be written to account for this in some way. The simplest method is for the expansion storyline to earn the player a new appellation early on. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

It's no problem if it's supposed to happen in the past. The tengu don't join because of Jormag, they join before, and it's their nation later on the ones who join. Also, there's already a few tengu in the Pact as of now, one of them one of the key weaponsmiths: Izu Steelshrike. I don't think it would be hard to imagine more tengu joining the Pact on their own, not caring about their nation's politics. I think the explanations I gave at their story section are good enough!--Lon-ami (talk) 18:03, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Tengu[edit]

Much as I would love playable Tengu, I see them more likely to be added as a (big, hyped up) part of the Living Story. In a Jormag/Ice themed expansion I would think it more likely to see Kodan and Largos become playable as both are active in the region (although the latter may be held back for a water themed expansion if one is to happen). BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Racial Skills[edit]

I would also be interested in what sorts of racial skills you would give Tengu. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Kodan[edit]

City Zone[edit]

The Kodan would have their city zone in what is currently marked SP-2 on your map of proposed zones. This would take the form of one of the large sanctuaries that has either run aground or been intentionally beached. Just below (marked SP-1) would be a new 1-15 starter zone for Kodan players. The starter zone would also connect to Snowden Drifts, which is a level 15-25 map and makes for ideal progression. The city also then allows direct access to the mid-level SP-3 zone to the east. Note though that there is room on your zone plan to allow, with some slight re-arrangement, all maps you describe to be preserved even with the addition of a new city zone. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't think kodan are playable race material. They're just too simple, they have a good theme, but then it's very limited. And then most of their uniqueness clashes against that of the norn. Also, including them north would break the entire zone level flow in the routes against Jormag.--Lon-ami (talk) 18:07, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Racial Skills[edit]

Kodan racial skills might include a skill that grants stability (in deference to their philosophies of balance), or some skills similar to those available when using the Koda's Hammer. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Personal Story[edit]

I leave it to those with a better grasp of lore to imagine the Kodan specific episodes that begin their personal story. Perhaps this can be related to encountering and dealing with the locals (both friendly and not so friendly) now that their sanctuary is ashore. This then transitions into the main storyline of the expansion content. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Largos[edit]

City Zone[edit]

Adding two new playable races would seem to require two new starter areas, but consider that Largos appear to be secretive, nomadic and highly skilled. As an expansion race this reputation can be played to by making Largos characters only creatable on accounts with a Far Shiverpeaks Region Rank of 80. When created, Largos characters begin at level 80.

The Largos city zone would be an underwater trading/meeting encampment or other such outpost, in one of the mid-level zones of the Far Shiverpeaks introduced with the expansion. Not revealing an actual Largos city preserves some of the mystery of the race. It also solves the problem of fitting in too many low-level zones.

Thus with Largos the expansion introduces a new playable race and an amazing reward for those who play a lot of the new content, while still preserving the mystery, nomadic nature, and highly skilled reputation of the race. As well as avoiding overloading the expansion content with low level and starter zones. Concerns about locking the race should be assuaged by the fact this is in addition to a more traditional playable race (Kodan).

BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

I think largos are better for a Deep Sea Dragon expansion. This expansion would be far from Tyria, and require a new capital city hub, which the largos capital would be perfect for. Their hidden city could be in danger, thus allowing the other races to enter it freely to help on its defense. This expansion would include zones from 1 to 80, letting largos level up there, and maybe even join the Pact later in Zhaitan's story too, though unlike tengu, I don't think they fit it well enough.--Lon-ami (talk) 18:10, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Racial Skills[edit]

Largos racial slot skills would likely include a stealth skill and a blink skill, perhaps along with a passive elite skill which awards stacks of 'Eternas' for every slain enemy and can be activated, using all stacks, to gain a temporary offensive buff - with an effectiveness proportional to the amount of 'Eternas' stacks present on activation. These seems to fit with their currently shown abilities in-game. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Personal Story[edit]

The Largos personal story would be simpler than that for other races. In the opening instance the player character would be on a hunt with their master, culminating in fighting a large creature. Once out of the opening instance, the story would begin with a series of solo hunts at the behest of the player character's master - each of the three chapters covering the tracking and slaying of a powerful foe. This would then transition to the general expansion story when the player character begins to hunt Jormag to honor the Tethyos Compact. These opening chapters may involve the death of their master, or the completion of the player character's training. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

An alternative is to have no personal story for Largos at all - simply start with the expansion storyline after a brief introduction. The Largos would instead have a finite list of targets to hunt at their leisure, tracked in the journal. These would be specific champions and world bosses. Each target slain earns the player rewards similar to those that would have been given for completing a personal story mission of similar difficulty and is then removed from the list (the targets chosen to be on the list would each be chosen to roughly match in difficulty a particular stage of the personal story for other races). BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

New Profession[edit]

Trainers for these new professions would need to be introduced in all home cities - these might be presented as wandering masters who have ventured afar from the new area to teach their skills, to explain how the new professions suddenly proliferate across Tyria. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

The profession is already established as existing long before the expansion. It's not "new" regarding the game's lore, it was just less popular, or not named as such. Its trainers would work as any other profession's, with no restrictions at all.--Lon-ami (talk) 18:18, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Watcher[edit]

We have the same idea that a new profession being introduced would probably tie into lore in some way. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Foresight[edit]

An illustration / mock-up would help in communicating the HUD idea for this, as six hexagonal resource charges and three mechanic skill buttons is hard to imagine without visual aids. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

I absolutely love the idea of introducing a new use for the juvenile creatures. Anything that integrates with and makes use of existing mechanics is usually awesome. Learning skills from studying animals is such an easy to grasp concept as well. It seems a shame to again lock their use to just one more profession. This, perhaps, would have been a great way to reward traits to everyone back when traits were overhauled, rather than the current system. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

I would suggest shifting the emphasis of the class to the Martial Blades mechanic alone. It's a great idea that sounds strong enough by itself to base a profession around and could be really in depth and offer a lot of variety in the skills, particularly with the large amount of animal types in the game already - and whatever new animals the expansion adds (griffons please). BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Building up Foresight by dodging attacks or suffering critical hits sounds like it would be a very fun mechanic but I can see it making an appearance as a Thief Grandmaster trait, or even as an Elite Skill. Consider a stack of Foresight that builds on each successfully dodged attack. Stacks would be lost on being downed (potentially also on entering stealth). Stacks could grant increased precision. Or perhaps (if it is an Elite Skill) activating the skill would use up all stacks for either a short period of guaranteed critical hits, or some sort of powerful strike / stun. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

The Thief is about stealth and tricks, a dirty fighter. The Watcher strikes head-on, it's not the same, even if it could sound like it. Both have precision, yes, but the thief gets it from positioning and agility, while the watcher gets it from meditation and trial and error.--Lon-ami (talk) 18:20, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Heavy Armour, AoE Melee[edit]

The specifics of exactly what any newly added profession would be are hard to guess at, so they're hard to offer any critique for. But they're fun to design so let me offer another profession. I’m only describing this in terms of mechanics as that’s really the key area. Though as this is inspired by how using Koda's Hammer plays in Edge of the Mists, it should be very easy to tie into the Kodan philosophy. This class could be thought of as an offensive guardian variant.

This is a profession that wears heavy armour, but focuses on magic use to assist in combat. Weapons useable by this class would be: Hammer, Greatsword, Staff, Axe, Mace, and Rifle. Plus offhand: Mace, Axe, Warhorn, Torch, Pistol. Underwater weapons: Trident and Speargun.

The emphasis is on multi-target melee offence and sturdiness. Boon stripping (would be included in many weapon skills), self-buffing (through slot skills or class mechanic), and crowd control (through weapon skills) are also strong. Many weapon skills also cleave or have AoE effects. For weaknesses, compared to other heavy classes they do not have the raw damage output to match a Warrior, nor are they quite as resilient. Also expect less effective support for allies than from a Guardian, and less condition clears.

BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

I talked about my other three profession ideas on reddit. Basically, a heavy forgemaster, a hammer-wielding weaponsmith which uses magical runes and is limited to one weapon set only like the elementalist and the engineer, but then has secondary skill bars compensating for it, with maybe a dwarven background, kinda like a guardian+engineer combination. A medium time-manipulator, heavily based on sand themes, and a classical duelist role. And then a summoner based around spirits and nature, specially plant magic and ghost creatures, kinda like a druidic ritualist.--Lon-ami (talk) 18:24, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Finding Balance[edit]

This is a single, instant-activation skill with a cooldown much like the thief’s Steal skill. When activated, the skill lasts for three seconds or until an enemy is struck. While the skill is active the player ignores all crowd control effects on themselves (but they are not removed and may still be applied). When an enemy is struck any boons and conditions on them will be transferred to the player, and in the same instant any boons and conditions on the player will be transferred to the enemy. These transferred boons and conditions stack, it is not a swap. If no enemy is struck the cooldown will be less than otherwise.

This mechanic is quite flexible; it could be used as a simple stun-break, as part of a burst to suddenly transfer many conditions on yourself to your opponents whereupon you would then apply your own condition clears, to gain many boons from an opponent only to then apply your own boons on top for a distinct advantage, to apply conditions applied by one enemy onto a different enemy, to repeatedly strike the same enemy to stack conditions/boons (when traited appropriately), or many other potential uses.

In addition, a Balance specialization for this profession would further improve and customise the effect of the Restore Balance skill. Such as extending its duration, shortening the cooldown, granting certain boons when it expires, allowing up to two enemies to be struck during a single activation, or clearing conditions when it expires.

BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Improved Profession Mechanics[edit]

It seems quite likely that a lot of these would be presented as new traits, rather than tweaks performed to the profession mechanics outside of the existing trait system. I would definitely want to see many new traits introduced in the expansion - and possibly also the addition of a sixth traitline to all professions. This could even be presented as a more advanced specialization, offering more dramatic changes to the professions than the other traitlines. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

No, the key for this system is to provide a cosmetic-only skill customization. Traits have nothing to do with it. Also, I didn't include them, but neutral traits could be an interesting addition. These traits would work in any line, or have a line of its own, and let you use specific traits no matter your build. Traits about weapon mastery, or fall damage reduction, would be included in this new group.--Lon-ami (talk) 18:12, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Cosmetic Effects[edit]

I would love to see this introduced as an addition to the Hero Panel. Some default options and – don’t doubt it – some gemstore exclusives. Players would simply choose an “Effects Theme” in the hero panel in the same way they select a finisher or outfit.

This does seem like a lot of work on ArenaNet’s side though so might be quite unlikely, but consider a more limited form. Importantly, just one thing that is customisable for each profession - otherwise the system may be unmanageable from a creation and from a usability and technical/performance standpoint. Mostly because I'm not sure how well the servers would cope with many, many different configurable effects on players. Or how they could easily be categorised and listed in interfaces. But if each profession has their unique, iconic, mechanic customisable that seems something very likely to happen - given the amount of cosmetic items already in the gem store. As in, each profession gets one thing that they can customise, but then there are lots of variants for that one thing.

eg. (some from your suggestions) alternate death shrouds for Necromancers, alternative shatter effects for Mesmers, alternate turret skins for Engineers (eg. seed turrets, aether turrets), stealth effects for Thieves (alters appearance to allies when in stealth), different Aegis appearances for Guardians, etc.

BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Important note: Would definitely need a setting in the options menu regarding these ‘Effects Themes’. Options would be: Enabled, Disabled for Enemies, Disabled. This is to address issues, particularly in pvp, of recognising skills in use.

BoxOfSnails (talk) 09:39, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Customisable Mesmer portal appearances could be fun. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

With the introduction of gem effects, something like an effect panel is needed more and more. All effects, including those of the legendaries, would be included there, and let you turn them on/off no matter what weapon you're using. Cosmetic skills are another thing though, and deserve a separate section inside the skill section, because they aren't just cosmetic. The sPvP problems would be fixed easily with the already implemented default character models.--Lon-ami (talk) 18:15, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

New Weapon Skills[edit]

Definitely! A two-handed axe definitely seems to be an obvious gap in the current weapon selection. I think a spear / polearm weapon class also seems a likely inclusion, to make more use of all the existing Spear and Trident weapon skins and because it's one of the last of the commonly used weapon types. It also matches the expansion theme quite well. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

My personal suggestion for a new weapon would be a Whip (1-hand) – for Thief (offhand), Ranger (main and offhand) and Mesmer (main). Several temporary whip weapons are usable in-game already, such as in A Sly Trick). The Whip would primarily offer mid-range crowd control (trips, pulls, stuns) and attacks that strike a target multiple times per use (repeated lashes). A Mesmer using whips may be an exception since they use weapons strangely, such as when wielding a Greatsword. It is admittedly not very themed to ice and Jormag, making whips much more likely to appear as part of the Living Story if at all. BoxOfSnails (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

The polearm isn't really necessary. As I already said, just allow us to use the spear on land, together with the harpoon gun (maybe modified into a crossbow) and the trident. Together with the greataxe, this would give us a total of 20 weapons, a pretty good number. Things like whips don't work well for multiple professions, they may be better as utility skills or bundles.--Lon-ami (talk) 18:17, 26 January 2015 (UTC)